Thursday, March 31, 2016

Celebrating Pollen with Jasna Guy: ArtStarts Weekend Workshops

I was pleased to pitch in and help participants explore bees and pollen with a workshop devised and lead by Jasna Guy through ArtStarts. The results were fabulous!  And we got to celebrate the 20th birthday of ArtStarts four times!!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Building a Pollinator Hotel: Boosting Biodiversity on School Grounds

Artist Evan Hutchison lead a class in Sexsmith Elementary in creating components for a pollinator hotel that will be installed on school grounds.

Students worked with hollow stems, cardboard and wood to make tunnels for nesting insects.

 Holes of varying diameters and lengths will attract a variety of bee species.

Bees nest in hollow twigs and small carpenter bees can dig out pithy stems from the rose family for their nests.

Lacewings are beneficial insects that can nest inside cardboard tunnels.

Evan made a cool invention for tying twigs in bundles so they can be secured inside the hotel where they will be protected from the rain.

 Can you identify these bee plants growing in the school garden? Watch this space for some spring blooms.

As I was walking east from the school I noticed some chafer beetle damaged lawns. This bare soil is actually great for ground-nesting bees.

Planting violets instead of sod will provide a beautiful bee-supporting alternative to monoculture lawns.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tell the Bees: Jenn's Getting Married!!!!

Here come the brides, all dressed in toilet paper? What's going on? Silly rituals and games, thong underwear in 7 different colours, gluten free buffet, mimosas and 25 grinning women. Sounds like a bridal shower!

I was honored to be invited to Jenn's shower. She is radiant.

Her friends created an amazing shower in the best tradition: lots of giggles and nibbles.

I even shed a couple of tears when Jen read out the little pieces of advice written by friends and family.

Er, can I at least be the ring bearer?

 Jenn had to answer questions about the groom to be, and match his answers or chew gum. Spoiler alert: she chewed a lot of gum.

And the piece de resistance: toilet paper bridal gowns.

"Well, I hope I get that many thongs at my wedding shower!"

"I hear they're not all they're cracked up to be."

Congrats Jennifer! You will make an awesome bride.